|'The Way Through the Woods' 9x12 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
Well it turns out that it wasn't as complicated as I thought. All I really needed to do was look at the big picture. Instead of counting every tree trunk, branch and twig and instead of painting every individual leaf I looked at these things as simplified shapes. I painted with the side of my pastel for as long as I could so that I could make broad flat strokes.
I began the painting on a piece of Wallis seconds (I still have a stash) I used hard pastels to block in the simple shapes that made up my forest scene. I Indicated the darkest shapes of the tree trunks, the lightest shapes which was the peeks of sky and the large areas of fall foliage and grass with some yellow and green. I rubbed in this layer with a piece of pipe insulation foam. This step gave me an immediate simplified roadmap to follow. Just seeing all of the details as simple shapes helped me get stated on what had been a daunting reference.
|Blocking in the big shapes|
Once I had this simple block-in it was much easier to gradually add smaller and smaller marks on top of the flat shapes. These smaller marks of different colors and values allowed me to have control over the level of detail I wanted.
|At the halfway point|
I could have added more leaves and branches and twigs but I wanted to leave something to the viewer's imagination. I wanted the viewer to fill in the blanks. Starting flat and simple was the key!